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Root Vegetable Casserole with Herb Dumplings

Serves 4 

  • 300g (11 oz) Parsnips – cut lengthways into 4
  • 6tbsp Olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 Shallots – cut in half
  • 2 Garlic cloves – sliced
  • 350g (12 oz) Carrots – peeled and cut into 3mm slices
  • 350g (12 oz) Turnips – cut into 2 cm chunks
  • 175g (6 oz) Button mushrooms
  • 350ml (12 Fl oz) Vegetable stock
  • 200ml (7 Fl oz) Cider
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1 ½ tsp Cornflour

  • 125g (4 ½ oz) Self-raising flour
  • 60g (2oz) Cheddar – grated
  • 3tbsp Fresh parsley – chopped
  • 60g (2 oz) Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to highest setting.
  2. Toss the parsnips with 2tbsp of olive oil. Season with a little salt and pepper and roast for about 25 minutes, until golden brown.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add the shallots and garlic and fry for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the carrots and turnips and sauté for about 4 minutes, then add the mushrooms and sauté for a further minute.
  5. Meanwhile, make the dumpling mixture. Lightly mix all the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Add about a tablespoon of water to bring it together to make a soft dough.
  7. Form about 16 small walnut sized balls and set aside.
  8. Add the vegetable stock to the vegetables, along with 175ml (6 Fl oz) of the cider and the bay leaf, and let the stew buddle steadily for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  9. Now dissolve the cornflour in the remaining cider, add to the stew and boil to thicken.
  10. As soon as it has thickened, place the dumplings in gently, so that they are about three-quarters immersed.
  11. Cover with a lid and simmer slowly for 15-20 minutes, until the dumplings are risen, the stew looks rich and the vegetables are meltingly soft.
  12. If you have not done so already, remove the parsnips from the oven and scatter them over the top.